THE Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has criticized 2022 budget statement presented by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube Thursday, saying it is an opaque presentation of figures without any clarity and totally lacking anything meaningful for the teachers and workers in general.
Speaking exclusively to NewZimbabwe.com on the sidelines of the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) Live Budget Analysis Conference, Raymond Majongwe dismissed the budget statement.
"It has nothing to do with the poor. It has nothing to do with the people and as far as we are concerned, we still have to sit down and understand what the Minister wanted to say because as far as we are concerned, it is far short from what we expected," he said.
The veteran trade unionist said prior the announcement, teachers had raised issues concerning infrastructure development in schools , teachers and learners with disabilities, issue of salaries as well as Information Communication Technologies which were never addressed in the budget statement.
He lamented the fact that the budget statement came up with figures and presented them in summary without necessarily tabulating them clearly, contradicting the expectation to see the education sector featuring prominently and targeted expenditure as was the case with Safari operators.
"Why did the Minister not say for the schools we are going to build this is what we have specifically set aside per each school in a specific province? Basically, these were just figures, statements and nothing on the ground. So as far as we are concerned we haven't moved from the first time that Ncube presented the budget. It's basically figures spoken and nothing for the people and the economy," he said.
Quizzed on the way forward because there are no hopeful prospects for teacher into the coming year, the PTUZ leader said membership will determine the next course of action
He underscored that the most important point basically is that teachers are wallowing in poverty pointing out that morale is at its lowest ebb, and all what the teachers are yearning for is to be paid in US$.
"The issues that teachers are raising around invigilation payments, around responsibility allowances are just going to remain unanswered and unspoken. The issues that we are seeing is a continuation of the neo-liberal agenda where the workers are not respected and it appears that nobody is taking our concerns seriously, so we will put our feet down and demand what is legitimately ours," Majongwe said.